Archive for December 2013

Beware of Fraudulent Target Scam Emails

Since Target was is such hot water for getting 40 million customers’ credit card info stolen, the bad guys have taken the opportunity to create scam emails.

First off, your email address was NOT taken, only information from customers who physically went into a store and swiped their credit/debit card.

Secondly, these scam emails will LOOK like they are linking to legitimate sites but they are not, and are an attempt by the bad guys to get your personal information that at that time they actually DON’T have.

As always, my advice is to NEVER click on links in an email.  If it looks like the link goes to, then go to your browser and in the address bar TYPE the address in (as in  Don’t trust the link.

Bad guys take advantage of big news events like this because it easier to trick people into thinking it’s legit.  Well, now you know better.

Forget Your Anti-Virus Software, it Won’t Help You!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have anti-virus software on your computer, but I’ve seen computers infected with viruses that were running Norton/Symantec Anti-Virus (or a version of Norton protection software,) McAfee, Kaspersky, AVG, Avast, Trend Micro and Microsoft Security Essentials.

Companies will try to tell THIS software is the best or THAT software is the best (especially if you have to pay for it – because they get a kick-back.)

All your anti-virus software will tell you (if you’re lucky) is that you have an infection, and MAYBE it will remove it.  The problem is that there may be other infections that came along with the one you found that were missed by your anti-virus program.

A hopeless situation?  No.  Depending on anti-virus software to protect your computer is like depending on your seat-belts from protecting you from an 80 mile per hour head-on collision in your car.

The key ingredient is YOU.  WHAT you do.  I wrote an article 3 years ago on my 3 “secrets” to avoiding viruses and malware and the advise hasn’t changed.  Follow that advice and you’ll make it near impossible to get infected – at most places over a $100 clean up job.  My charge is $135 to remove infections.  Take a few precautions and save your money.  Read my article here if you haven’t read it before (or you need a refresher):

Target Gets Hacked – 40 Millions Credit Cards!

If you shopped IN PERSON at a Target store between November 27 (the day before Thanksgiving) and the 15th of this month, your information may be in the hands of the bad guys.  Oddly enough your data is safe if you shopped online, that information was stored in a separate database and not affected.  The information they got was your credit/debit card number, your name, the expiration date and the three-digit security code (four with AMEX.) 

What should you do?  Closely watch your credit card statements for charges you didn’t make and notify the company immediately.  You might try calling the credit card company and see about having your card cancelled and a new one issued if you’re really worried.

And again, if you only shopped online, your information is safe.

It’s an Old Scam but Worth Repeating

Top StoriesFor some reason, KEYE television here in Austin just discovered this scam, which has been going on for at least two years.  It’s about someone calling you from “Microsoft” saying they see a problem with your computer and want to help.  It ultimately leads to you giving them direct access to your computer and if they’re lucky, your credit card to pay for their “services”.

Folks, Microsoft will NEVER call you.  They can’t tie a computer with a problem to you and your phone number.

Anyway, just a reminder.  Can’t help that KEYE is a couple of years late in letting people know about this.  Maybe THEY should read my blog here.  They would have known about this a long time ago.  Here’s the video report:

Deal: Epson Wireless Printer Hold 500 Sheets

imageHave kids that print a lot of homework?  Hate having to constantly keep putting paper into your printer.  Well, Best Buy, Office Depot and Office Max all have the Epson Workforce 3540 printer on sale AND in stock.  It prints (on both sides if you wish), scans, copies very quickly, also faxes, can use high capacity ink cartridges so you aren’t changing ink so often – and it’s wireless and can hold al full ream of paper.  It has two paper trays, you can even put letter size in one and legal size in the other if you want.  You can put it anywhere in the house or office where there is an electrical outlet.  You can also print DIRECTLY to it from an iPhone, iPad, as well as Android phones and tablets.  It works on all versions of Windows and on Macs since version 10.5 (which means almost all Macs running today.)

And the best part it’s only $129!  It retails for $199, so that’s quite a discount.  Order one online or go pick one up in the store.  This is a really good printer and will serve you well for a long time.  If you’re thinking about getting a new printer – stop thinking and go get this one, you won’t be sorry.

What Do You Get for the Person Who Has Absolutely Everything?

imageWell, that depends if money isn’t much of an object for you (meaning you’ve got lots of it to spend.)

For $60,000, Cardok creates an underground garage by creating a subterranean pit that your car gets stored in.  And when the car is parked there, NO ONE knows it’s there because no one can see it.  You raise it when you arrive home, pull onto the platform.  Get out of the car and then lower it into the pit, leaving only an empty spot  in you driveway where yes, you can park another car.  The article about it is here:

You can watch the video on how it works (oh so cool) here:

‘Tis the Season to be Careful

imageNo, I’m not talking about ‘ol St. Nick, I’m talking about people like Boris, Vladamir, Ivan, Mikhail and all their friends in eastern Europe who love to take advantage of those who don’t keep their computer’s software up-to-date.  It’s the 2nd Tuesday of the month, so here’s your monthly reminder to be sure to look for these icons in your task tray (in the lower-right corner of your computer screen most likely) and if you see one of them, be sure to click on it and update the software.  Don’t spend your Christmas getting viruses out of your computer.

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